As this year ends, healthy people look backwards. And forward.
The Bible often uses a word when it looks back. The word is hennah in Hebrew, and it means “until now” or “to this point” or “thus far.” For example, the Prophet Samuel looks back as he sets up a rock as a reminder:
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer (The Stone of the Help), saying, “Thus far has the Lord helped us.” – 1 Sam 7:1, NIV
In every breath of our lungs or print of our shoe, God was there first/God is here now/God is already ahead of us.
We sing of this backwards and forward faith in the old hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (Robert Robinson, 1757):
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
As one year ends and another begins, reflect. Look backwards. And forwards.
Lord, even if I missed it
you were in always my eyes,
you were always in my mind,
you were always in my hands,
you were always in my words.
This new year, help me to not be afraid to walk into darkness,
for You are uncreated Light.
Show me the light,
show me the right seat,
find me the fitting task,
give me the willing heart.
(Adapted from Aidan Readings, Celtic Daily Prayer)
Photos above by Aaron Birch and Greg Rakozy
Thank you for explaining the “raise your Ebeneezer” concept of looking at God’s greatness Brad.